Sale Into Fall – Super Sale & Craft Fair

SaleIntoFall2017 Dear Friends…We are only a few days away from our exciting Sale into Fall! This year’s fall sale is different than other years’ because we will have vendors and children’s activities, including a bounce castle and face painting.  We have many vendors and organizations represented, including our Boy Scouts (see list below).  You will notice that our vendors include some of our own members, as well as crafters, artists and other vendors from several states!  You will find something for everyone.  It’s a  great way to get a jump start on your holiday gift list.

We want to be sure to draw many people to our property!  So we encourage you to share this event broadly.  If you are on social media, please post the following link to our church’s blogsite:

https://mumcblogs.wordpress.com/2017/10/10/sale-into-fall-super-sale-craft-fair/

Crafts, Vendor List

1. Origami Owl, Jewelry- Gina Valvona
2. Lularoe, clothing- Victoria Spataro
3. RLP ventures, soap/skin care products- Ramona Prioleau
4. SBCglobal, driftwood animal art, Joan Pollak
5. Jewelry, Art – Dave Barney Jr
6. Boy Scouts, information $ popcorn to order, Dave Barney Sr.
7. Pottery, Grace Fraioli
8. Dishing with Jane, collectibles, Jane Giles
9. Chinese Dumplings, Potted Plants, Chia-Li Sung
10. Church Bake Sale
11. Art, Paulette Dresser
12. Jewelry, Annette Lieblein
13. Ceramics, Sally Spielvogel
14. The Thirst Project, Katia
15. LMTV
16. Hats, Bath Salts, Jewelry, Cynthia Goda
17. T-shirts, wooden flags, Dennis P. Dempsey
18. Wooden turned bowls, concrete fire pits & cutting boards, Dennis Cucinella
19. The Bott Shoppe, handmade goods/books/prints/art supplies, Laura Bott
20. New Rochelle Artists:jewelry & rebuilt laptops, Nora Freeman
21. Origami Passion- origami flowers/jewelry/ornaments, Nicole Menedez
22. Vibeadz, beaded jewelry, Calli Prifti & Gabriella Procopio
23. Kairos Outside,  information/collectibles, Coralie Joseph
24. New Rochelle Artists, ACK Designs, jewelry, Ann Keis
25. Crochet Hats & Knitted Stuffed Animals, Diana Minaya
26. New Rochelle Artists, Jewelry, Paintings & Soy candles, Cathy Beauchamp & Evelyn Ray

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Want to experience ministries in Nicaragua firsthand?

We are forming a team for February 2018 for a trip from February 16 through February 24th. Could God be calling you to go? The group will stay in Leon at El Ayudante and launch out into surrounding villages to minister to children and adults. We could use people who are willing to join in on construction work outdoors, no experience needed. We will show you the ropes, and there will be experienced people on hand. We can use those with a heart for children and sharing crafts and stories with them. Again we have leaders so you don’t have to invent the wheel, just share joy and love and help out and let God do the rest! The group will also spend a few nights in Managua and visit a few sights in places like Granada. You will leave with a full heart and changed perspective. To sign up or to learn more contact the Pastor at karen@mamaroneckumc.org. Young adults and adults of any age welcome.

 

Music Ministry | Beloved Melodies Concert

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Heartfelt appreciation to those who attended and enjoyed this beautiful music and to Rick, Oksana and Michael (pianist) and to Michael H. for videotaping the concert. Beloved Melodies from Opera, Operetta and Musicals performed by our own choir member, Ulrich “Rick” Hartung and his wife, Oksana Krovytska, accompanied by pianist Michael Pilafian.  Concert was held Sunday 4/23/17.  Donations received will benefit the church’s music program.  If you could not attend but would like to contribute to our church’s awesome music ministry, please call our church office or place donation in offering plate clearly marked “for music ministry”.

Click on link below to view more pictures

Photos | Beloved Melodies

 

Easter 2017 Picture Memories

Note from our Pastor Karen:

I hope you all had a blessed Easter! Special thanks to Karina and our choirs and to Bruce Meighan, Lay Leader, and Michael Hochhauser who helped with set-up of sanctuary and lower church parlor for Holy Week/Easter; also to Sue and Steve Gill for setting up the lilies and other Easter flowers and to Amanda Bruno, for all of the extra bulletins for Holy Week. Anner also helped set up chairs for Maundy Thursday. Thank you also to all the readers during Holy Week; each one of you did a great job.
Below is the link for the Youtube video of our church’s 10 a.m. Easter Service. Please watch it, log in and click the “thumbs up” icon, as this helps it maintain its status on Youtube so it gets seen by the community. Thanks for taping Michael! You can find others on our Mamaroneck UMC channel on Youtube. Just go to Youtube and search for our church’s name and they all pop up. Easy to do!
Click this link for YouTube Easter Service
Click this link to view more awesome Easter Pictures

Take the Whole Journey

It is tempting, especially on a beautiful sunny day during Holy Week, to want to skip over Maundy Thursday, with Judas reclining with Jesus with the other disciples at the Passover meal, ready to betray Jesus, and Good Friday, when we re-live the agony of Jesus as he is betrayed, arrested, tortured, crucified. Isn’t there enough pain in this world, we might ask ourselves? Why take the difficult parts of the  Holy Week journey? Why not just spend time out in the Spring air and check the daffodils to see if they have survived the recent cold and snow? Why not just dye some Easter eggs, shop for food for a nice Easter meal, and keep ourselves “too busy” with the “fun” and cheerful traditions to come out to evening services on Thursday and Friday or to pray in the sanctuary this week in solitude?

I believe that we can’t really understand the meaning and truths that Easter brings to our lives and faith journey if we skip the difficult parts of the Lent/Easter journey.  Experiencing the full cycle of spiritual life from death to resurrection is integral to our spiritual understanding. Remaining close to Jesus as his story moves through darkness and suffering is part of knowing Jesus and following Jesus.

Our Maundy Thursday Service will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Lower Church Parlor at the church. It includes readings, music by the choir, and tangible symbols and food and drink that remind us the Passover Meal/Last Supper Jesus shared with his disciples. Join us for this beautiful service when we honor the mandate of Jesus to love one another as God loves us.

On Good Friday, the sanctuary will be open for personal prayer from 12 to 3 p.m., the hours Jesus was on the Cross. Stop in if you can. That evening, our service will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. You are invited to join us for this solemn service and to exit quietly after the service, reflecting on the sobering reality of Jesus’ death.

Then on Easter morning, we will have two services: one at 8 a.m. and one at 10 a.m. The 8 a.m. service is a spoken word service with communion; the 10 a.m. service also has music by the choir, bell choir, trumpet and organ, integrated into it, and a chance to sing the “Hallelujah Chorus” together with choir and instruments at the end.

Again, I want to encourage our readers who live locally or are visiting this area to come join us for the whole journey of Holy Week. You will come away with more insights and a greater closeness to Jesus if you walk with him to Calvary before running to the empty tomb.

If we are truly open to Jesus’ Holy Week journey and ministry, His journey changes ours!

A Better Way

Before we left on our Nicaragua mission trip, we were told that we could expect the pace of things to be a little less exacting and rapid in Leon, Nicaragua compared to here in New York. We might not leave for our daily work exactly at the scheduled time, and there would be a different rhythm of life. I found we stayed on schedule quite well, and we did have structured days with evening tasks, as well as daily work in the community. Yet, I understand what was being conveyed. There was a sense that life was a bit more personal and time a bit less linear there in Nicaragua. This was undoubtedly not so true of the factories. But in the villages, people were a bit more focused on other people and flexible in schedule. While cars and buses did pass each other a lot on the roads, trying to make good time, there were also some walking by the road or travelling by horse and cart at a slower pace.  And the warm weather meant at times that rushing like we do in North America is just not very practical.

Today the world got a glimpse of what happens when efficiency and pace and running by the clock, characteristic of our industrialized and materialistic, so often profit-driven world, eclipses concerns about human dignity and compassion. A man on a United Airlines flight was dragged out of his purchased seat by police after he refused to be bumped along with 3 other passengers selected at random by computer so that 4 airline personnel could join that flight. From video footage, it appeared that he was lifted over a seat next to him, bumping the armrests on the way, and then was bumped against a seat or armrest across the aisle before being laid roughly on the aisle floor and dragged on his back down the aisle of the plane while other passengers watched in shock. He yelled as this happened and his mouth was bleeding in other videos made of his return to the plane in a daze saying he had to get home. While we don’t know all the facts yet, it appears that following an airline policy and concern about getting the plane off the ground in a timely manner took precedence over hearing the man’s genuine distress about being bumped without choice after paying for his ticket. He was a doctor who had patients to see the next day, but this experience would be harrowing for anyone who had a need to get to their destination and had no choice in being bumped other than being randomly pulled up on the computer, due to a lack of volunteers to reschedule their trip. The system ground on, like a sharp wheel running over all in its path, and he was on the ground in the plane, on the floor, being pulled by his arms as though he were stretched out on a cross for execution. He even called out later, re-boarding the plane, “Please kill me,” in a state of shock and distress and humiliation. The personal became impersonal because of systems in place that were implemented badly and without regard for his safety or well-being. Without regard for the humanity of the person affected…

This made me think about one of the great perils of the 21st century. We are too much in a hurry, and at a faster pace, with goal orientation rather than a relational focus, we often become less humane. A prime example of hurry and loss of humanity is road rage. It doesn’t usually happen when both parties are driving at a leisurely pace without a sense of hurry and focus on a goal, enjoying the moment.

When people slow down, they can think more clearly. They can listen well. They can be good neighbors on the road. They can also weigh whether a given policy or procedure needs modification in a given moment to accomodate current circumstances. Rules are helpful, but sometimes they are also a hindrance to humane and fruitful outcomes if they are followed simply because they are rules, enforced blindly, or with a vigor to implement them in spite of any obstacles or down side. Why do religious leaders discuss interpretations of Scripture and talk about its application, arguing for a particular interpretation? In order to apply it well and in the service of God and humankind, not foolishly and without reason or love and neighborliness. We discern together, prayerfully, and God helps us to grow in love as we move toward perfection in love in the Wesleyan sense.

But it’s not just moving too quickly that leads to inhumane practice of the rule of law. Group dynamics and institutional dynamics have a tendency to perpetuate momentum, sometimes in a positive direction, but oftentimes in a wrong direction too. During the Holocaust, soldiers followed orders and committed atrocities. During wartime in various times and places, soldiers often do things that they would never do in times of peace, simply because they are following orders and are in a high pressure situation. Police enforcing law and order make a positive difference in society, but the best police are highly self-aware and on guard against using excess force, going into overdrive while the adrenaline is flowing. They balance law and grace. We all love to hear stories of police who give someone a second chance and a warning, or bond with the communities they serve by getting to know the neighbors, serving ice cream.

I remember reading about a policeman who helped a woman who was shoplifting because she was hungry; he bought her groceries, and told her not to do it again. Reminds me of someone else I know…Jesus of Nazareth, who showed grace toward people who broke the religious laws, and invited them to make a new beginning.

As we enter Holy Week, we remember that Jesus of Nazareth also deliberately broke many rules of his time and culture. He showed a unique compassion toward people and a sensitivity to how rules impact people. He was willing to operate by an ethic of love that could even supersede rules in many cases. For example, he healed people on the Sabbath, the day of rest for people of his faith when no work was to be done, because he felt that it was the right thing to do; it was compassionate for a gifted healer like himself to heal when the opportunity presented itself, without waiting.  Sometimes, the time is now!

As part of his healing ministry, Jesus spoke to people others didn’t, included them in his table fellowship, and was never in too much of a hurry to be bothered with people. When his disciples wanted to send children away who wanted to see him, he said “let the children come to me, and do not hinder them…” Jesus paid attention to how systems and rules impacted people. I believe God wants us to do the same today.

This brings us from the airline incident to the United Methodist Church.  Bishop Karen Oliveto is a United Methodist Bishop elected in July 2016, and she currently serves the Mountain Sky Area, which encompasses both the Rocky Mountain Conference and the Yellowstone Conference. Because of the rules in the UMC against “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals” being ordained or married in our churches, and because she is a lesbian and in a same sex marriage, her election to the episcopacy is being challenged in our denomination’s court, along with the legality of the ordination and appointment of 5 clergy.  I received a notice today from the Methodists in New Directions (M.I.N.D.) that a hearing on these matters by our denomination’s Judicial Council will take place on April 25-28 in Newark, NJ. Members of our New York Conference, both LGBTQI clergy and allies, will be present to make a witness as this hearing takes place. In addition, a statement from a group of queer clergy in our New York Annual Conference, which includes NY and CT churches, will be released on Good Friday.

Bishop Oliveto was nurtured in one of our New York Conference churches on Long Island. She has been faithfully serving as a local church pastor for decades, most recently serving as Senior Pastor at Glide UMC in San Francisco, a 12,000 member church, for 8 years. She has been recognized by so many as a visionary, dynamic and caring leader. As the first openly lesbian Bishop in the United Methodist Church, she is a sign of hope to the LGBTQI community, a reminder of the sacred worth of all people. She is an important role model for LGBTQI United Methodists who seek to live out their call to serve God while openly claiming their identity. If our denomination does invalidate her election to the Episcopacy, they will do a grave disservice not only to Bishop Oliveto, but to the United Methodist Church, its members and to the larger church of Jesus Christ, which includes gay and lesbian Bishops, clergy and laity. It will also do harm to people of other faith communities who witness the ugliness of dragging a Bishop away, to speak figuratively, taking away her dignity and credentials. We will lose a spiritually gifted, called, dedicated, effective leader to an ancient prejudice that is found in Scripture along with beliefs about women and hair length, laws about marrying one’s brother-in-law, and other antiquated culturally bound beliefs, mixed in with sound spiritual teachings that have survived the test of time.

To enforce the denominational rules that our General Conference has yet to overturn may be found to be legally possible, though I will reserve judgment on that, since the Discipline is a complex and lengthy book with nuances to be considered, but as with the airline incident, there are bigger questions than “is it legal?” We must ask “Is it right?” “Is it ethical to invalidate a calling affirmed via the candidacy process as coming from God? “Is it ethical to remove a Bishop already seated on the Council of Bishops and respected by her colleagues in the midst of her duties?” (Note the parallel with the already seated airline passenger.) To be a literalist for a moment, Bishop Oliveto is rarely seated; she is a leader on the move, actively working with and among the people of the United Methodist Church in the Mountain Sky Area, encompassing over 4 states,and beyond, sharing the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. And is it right to remove the other clergy who are serving their congregations and the world with the love of Christ simply because of their identity as queer? Is this not reminiscent of racism and sexism, which have also reared their ugly heads in the church?

Another question is whether it is truly possible for human beings to “unordain” clergy! One can deprive them of orders and appointment, but ordination involves the action of God! Once ordained, once consecrated as a Bishop, to pretend God has not been involved in the process is to deny God’s role and participation! Would we deny a baby or adult has been baptized after the baptism has taken place?

I can tell you that our colleagues in ministry will not go quietly away. They will raise their voices in protest of this injustice if it happens. And we will raise our voices with them.

Dare we dream and pray for a better way, a better outcome? Dare we hope for the rebirth of hope for LGBTQI people in the United Methodist Church? Dare we hope for a pastoral, prophetic and courageous ruling?

I hope we can all learn from the United Airlines incident that existing policies and rules, found in the fine print on a ticket or website, or writ large in newspaper headlines about church hearings and trials, are not the core of our faith, nor its foundation. Love is. God is. And people matter most of all. People who are called to serve God, called to be open about who they are. People matter. It has been said that there is an exception to every rule, and rules are made to be broken, and in some instances overturned. We would do well to remember this and to live by the higher law than our rules and regulations: the law of love and a practical ethic of neighborliness. Ugly scenes like the one that unfolded on the plane can be avoided if we use our common sense and our hearts in the practice of our faith and our service together as Church. After all, we are called by Jesus to be united, lower case “u.”

 

 

 

Different Ways of Sharing

The world would be boring if we were all the same. That’s what makes life interesting! Our church is in the midst of participating in a series of Tuesday night Ecumenical Services with other congregations in Mamaroneck. We experienced a Lutheran Church as our first host church, next a Baptist congregation, with two very different worship styles, but each lively and invigorating. Both had drums, organ or piano, vocalists, and liturgy that was meaningful to all of us, and at each church a preacher from one of the other churches brings the message while the other clergy take part in other ways.

Next week, Tuesday, March 28th, Mamaroneck UMC will host the 7:30 service at our church at  546 East Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck. The preacher will be from First Baptist Church. Our Bell Choir will take part. We will have refreshments afterward. Those who come to our church will experience additional variation in worship style and liturgy. This diverse experience enriches all of our faith journeys and helps us to better understand one another. After the service at the Baptist Church, my husband and I lingered to talk to the Pastor. He told us that he would be travelling this weekend to another state to attend the funeral of a church member’s mother, along with other members. He also told me he commuted over an hour to serve his church in Mamaroneck. I marveled!

You never know what others are doing or what their lives of faith and in community of faith are all about unless you spend time with them and take an active interest. We do not all have to minister in identical ways, but we can learn from one another. And having a relationship means we can be there for one another when difficulty strikes.

On April 3, we will be at the Barry Avenue A.M.E. Zion Church for our final Lenten Ecumenical Service. All are invited to join us.

Reflecting on the Nicaragua mission trip some of us took in February, I have learned that people like to share about the trip in different ways. Some like to speak in church about it, some to blog (like me, for instance!), some like to share photographs for our bulletin board, some like to talk one on one with friends and neighbors. The differences in how we process and share about a mission trip are like all of our other differences: God-given.

This Sunday, March 26th, we will hear from several members of our Nicaragua Mission Team at our 10:00 a.m. service, and the Team will host refreshments after church that remind us of our brothers and sisters in Christ in Nicaragua. There will be a brand new display  of photos. There will also be two songs shared in worship that were written in response to the Nicaragua mission work: one written by Steve Gill, inspired by a prior mission trip; the other will be shared for the first time Sunday, written by me on this year’s trip. The chorus started running through my spirit while on one of our school bus rides from one destination to another. I started jotting down phrases in a notebook as I felt the emotions of the message, and now I have the joy of teaching the song to our church’s SoulShine Band and watching it evolve further in collaboration with the band. That is another way of sharing: through  music.

How do you share what is important to you in your life with others? How do you tell your stories? How do you convey your values? How do you call others to action? There are as many different ways as different people. Keep at it! Amen.